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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2212-2225;

Maximum Cumulative Ratio (MCR) as a Tool for Assessing the Value of Performing a Cumulative Risk Assessment

Toxicology and Environmental Research and Consulting, The Dow Chemical Company, 1803 Building, Midland, MI 48674, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 April 2011 / Revised: 11 June 2011 / Accepted: 13 June 2011 / Published: 16 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cumulative Health Risk Assessment)
Full-Text   |   PDF [622 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


Due to the vast number of possible combinations of chemicals to which individuals are exposed and the resource-intensive nature of cumulative risk assessments, there is a need to determine when cumulative assessments are most required. This paper proposes the use of the maximum cumulative ratio (MCR) as a tool for this evaluation. MCR is the ratio of the cumulative toxicity received by an individual from exposure to multiple chemical stressors to the largest toxicity from a single chemical stressor. The MCR is a quantitative measure of the difference in an individual’s toxicity estimated using a chemical-by-chemical approach and using an additive model of toxicity. As such, it provides a conservative estimate of the degree to which individuals’ toxicities could be underestimated by not performing a cumulative risk assessment. In an example application, MCR is shown to be applicable to the evaluation of cumulative exposures involving up to 81 compounds and to provide key insights into the cumulative effects posed by exposures to multiple chemicals. In this example, MCR values suggest that individuals exposed to combinations of chemicals with the largest Hazard Indices were dominated by the contributions of one or two compounds. View Full-Text
Keywords: cumulative; risk; exposure; mixtures cumulative; risk; exposure; mixtures
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Price, P.S.; Han, X. Maximum Cumulative Ratio (MCR) as a Tool for Assessing the Value of Performing a Cumulative Risk Assessment. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 2212-2225.

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